Culture Clips: Heroes, Heels and Hacks

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captain america

It’s not easy to find heroes these days. So it was nice to see Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and apparently all-around good guy, break the National Football League’s all-time passing mark this Monday night. Even better, though? His post-game interview.

When the ESPN interviewer Lisa Salters asked Brees what he told his kids at the end of the game, Brees said, “It’s probably what I tell them every night before they go to bed, which is you can accomplish anything in life you’re willing to work for. Nothing’s given, everything’s earned. But God has equipped us for great works. And I tell them that every night.”

Sounds almost like something Captain America might say, doesn’t it? Not that he’ll be quoting Brees anytime soon—at least not the Cap we’ve come to know in Disney/Marvel’s Avengers movies. Chris Evans, the guy who plays Steve Rogers, sent out a tweet that sure sounds like he’s hanging up his shield. “Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor,” he tweeted. “To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.” The news was met with much rending of garments, including from some in the superhero community. “I’m not crying. I’m weeping,” tweeted Ryan Reynolds, a.k.a. Deadpool. “There’s a difference.”

It’s too bad, because Hollywood could sure use a little extra law and order in its celebrity neighborhoods right about now. The homes of several stars have been burgled recently, and police suspect that the culprits chose their targets based on social media posts: If a star mentioned she’d be attending a swank party on Tuesday, what better time to stop by and snag a couple of spare watches?

Many of us have been victims of break-ins, too—not necessarily of our houses, but our online profiles. Facebook has proved to be particularly nettlesome. Which is why, when many started receiving messages that their profiles had been cloned, many fell for it. Turns out, they hadn’t: The whole thing was a hoax, staged for sundry and still-unknown reasons.

Users of Google+ weren’t so fortunate. Apparently, the service had been leaking personal information since 2015, and while Google fixed the problem this March, they never told anyone about it. What to do? Apparently just shut down the service. Which, I gather, disappointed the four people (or thereabouts) who still used it.

But “Undaunted” is, apparently, social media’s middle name: Facebook wants you to welcome its own intelligent cameras into your home—intuitive ones that will zoom in and follow you as you wander about a given room. (The idea is to make video chatting with fellow Facebookers that much easier, but many experts wonder whether consumers will trust Facebook with just that much more personal data.)

Oh, and here’s another comforting thought for you: Digital assistants like Alexa and Siri are getting smarter, more intuitive, and—well, let’s just say it—potentially nosier all the time. And according to The Atlantic, there’ll be more of them than us humans by 2021.

But while technology is infiltrating every area of our lives, it at least looks softer while doing it. The biggest trend in tech is, apparently, fabric. (I’m hoping that, one day, automated vacuum cleaners will double as fluffy ottomans.)

Speaking of techno-things that seem to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, let’s turn our attention to Netflix for a moment. The streaming service has gotten so influential now that it’s forced Hollywood into a talent war. Oh, and the country of India has now seen the first official case of Netflix addiction.

Health professionals have more experience with gambling addictions, of course, but a new Google study finds that there’s a new gateway to said addiction: smartphone apps. Teens, meanwhile, are experimenting with another addictive substance: marijuana. And they’re not just smoking it, either. Some are vaping it or eating it, too.

And so another culture clips installment is coming to a close on a typically chipper note. Captain America’s retiring.  Teens are vaping weed. Watching Netflix could pull us all into unhealthy and potentially addictive binging habits. But be thankful for this, at least: You’ve not put $1.4 million in a shredder recently.

The same cannot be said about the buyer of an artwork titled “Girl with Red Balloon,” painted by the famed, reclusive and puckish street artist, Banksy. The painting was the subject of a bidding war—one that finally hit $1.4 million.But as soon as the gavel came down, the painting started to come down, too—right through the shredder Banksy hid inside its hefty gilded frame.

No worries, you mysterious, rich painting buyer, you. A little Scotch tape will fix it right up.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Julienne Dy 5 months ago
Pity about the painting.  It was such a nice picture, too.
charitysplace 5 months ago
You'll be glad to know the painting shredding was a hoax. Type "Josh Gilbert Banksy" into Google or Bing, a link talking about misdirection should come up. :)
Anonymous 5 months ago
That trick he pulled actually got the biggest laugh out of me this week. As an artist, I thought that was real slick.

-Evan